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Patricia Piccinini Is Taking Over The Flinders Street Station Ballroom For RISING Arts Festival

By Kate Fleming
29th Mar 2021

Patricia Piccinini standing next to one of her abstract human-like sculptures.

It’s been some 40 years since the Flinders Street Station Ballroom opened its doors to the public. And it’s been about 20 years since renowned Melbourne artist Patricia Piccinini held a major exhibition in her hometown. But with the full programming announcement from RISING—Victoria’s newest major cultural event running from Wednesday 26 May to Sunday 6 June—we can reveal that both will be breaking their drought when Patricia takes over the entire top floor of the iconic Flinders Street Station for her show; A Miracle Constantly Repeated. 

The show is set to be an immersive and multi-sensory display of sound, light, sculpture, foliage and video which has been entirely conceived and created by Piccinini. It will fill the fifteen rooms alongside the magnificent ballroom, which have all been hidden away from the public eye for most of our lifetimes. Piccinini will be taking inspiration from the French Renaissance-style architecture and filling the spaces with enormous dioramas, sentient saplings, nurturing marine mammals and huge life-sustaining foliage. 

Piccinini will be showing both new work and existing pieces from her career spanning decades. The exhibition will fit out the space as a walkable ecosystem of multimedia artforms. The hyper-real silicone sculptures she is famous for will be there, as well as some new works which have been specifically created for the site. A Miracle Constantly Repeated explores themes of nature, new life, connection and the resilience of communities, and nature’s ability to revive itself following traumatic events—pretty fitting in the current pandemic and climate crisis-ridden world.

If you haven’t heard of Piccinini, you’ve probably seen her work or you’ve been living under a rock. But if that’s the case, then we’re here to catch you up. Born in Sierra Leone before moving to Australia in the 70s, the award-winning, Melbourne-based artist has been turning heads in the art world since the start of her career in the 90s. Her hyper-real sculptures have captivated people around the world, from Europe to North and South America and Asia. Her work is held in collections internationally, as well as the National Gallery of Australia and multiple state galleries. She is known for her grotesque, confronting and unnatural, yet endearing creations that deal with broad themes of nature, life and connection. Basically, she’s a legend.

A Miracle Constantly Repeated will be opening Wednesday 26 May 2021. More details on RISING 2021and the 750 local artists involved, to come. 

Can’t wait until May for your next art fix? Check out the NGV Triennial before it finishes up.

Image credit: supplied

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